Monday, February 16, 2015

Bob Lobel: My Favorite Boston Sports Memories

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

No denying that one of the most beneficial by-products of sports competition is the memory the game, team or moment generates. 

It's one of those things that place you somewhere in space that the memory transports you to. Like, I know where I was the moment Fisk hit his home run off the pole in left. There are hundreds of these moments that keep calling to us from a less complicated and seemingly more pleasant past. 

Here's the big bang for our (New England, Boston, etc) buck… Really now, how many other cities have franchises that crank out memories faster and better than this one? Really! Trying to think, and in doing so, came to the conclusion that we just own it. The best moments, the best teams, the best drama, the best clutch, the best parades, the most invested fans holding all those memories. 

Boston Strong didn’t just show up on our doorstep. Boston Strong should add the words, “get over it." 

I do like to torment other cities. The ones that whine. You know who you are. We decided to make bumper stickers that simply say, ”yea, we cheat! So what?”  

But let's get to some of those memories, starting with the most recent. 

Super Bowl 49 and the Malcolm Butler interception. Personally, I felt this was the greatest sports moment in our memorable history. It was totally unexpected, it was the difference between winning and losing on America's one day sports celebration and, for that matter, turned the fortunes and perceptions of coaches and players totally in a positive direction. 

In other words, that moment literally changed everything. Us, for better, Seattle, for worse. Apart from moments, there are teams. The 2004 Red Sox producing the seemingly impossible, winning a World Series, and in the process coming back from 0-3 to the Yankees to even get to the big show. 

That was a total anti-climax. Dave Roberts will be thrown in the candidate pile for greatest play when he ran for Millar in the ninth inning and promptly stole second when Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and 39,000 fans knew that was about to be attempted. 

Great play making many, many memories of how the team managed to pull off the greatest comeback to win a most illusive prize. 

Clutch hits? Ortiz' grand slam in 2013 against Detroit was pretty clutch. Fisk's home run and Carbo's as well, in game 6 in 1975. 

Now, we get to the tough stuff.  

Can't you make the argument that the 1967 Red Sox were producing a more meaningful run? 

Many impossible dreamers would agree. I'm pretty much on the fence here, since 1967 changed the place the team had in the psyche of the city.  

2004 just finished what 1967 started. 

Now, for the crunch time question and the real reason I wrote all this stuff- I have just about changed my mind on the Malcolm Butler moment.  It did satisfy the requirements of what a moment should be, but for obvious reasons, haven’t stood the test of time. 

I'm betting it won't either.  There has been really, one moment that has stood the time test and all the other stuff that qualifies as the greatest moment in Boston Sports History.  

Do not shoot the messenger!

This has become my opinion and mine alone. I did not go to this school… Blah, blah, blah. 

Doug Flutie's pass to Gerard Phalen against the U at the U, transcends it all.  Before you pick up a weapon of some kind, maybe we can agree that there is always a chance another GMIBS  (greatmomentinbostonsports) could be right around the corner (just as long as it doesn’t have to take the T to get here).


Unknown said...

"The Pass" Malcolm Butler interception was certainly on of the latest and greatest in receeint history mainly because it was totally unexpected, the pass as well as the interception. Doug's hail mary was also one of those moments, it was fantastic. Personally Bobby Orr's goal and flying celebration was the one true moment, even though the Blues were going to get beat, for me was the pinnacle in Boston sports "greatest moments."

James656 said...

I was 13 and on July 24, 1979, Yaz hit his 400th home run off of Mike Morgan of the Oakland A's. Somehow that to me was one of the best moments of my childhood and it was an amazing sports moment. We needed it after the 1978 "Bucky F-N Dent" season. It was amazing. But I agree, Bob, Super Bowl 49 and Malcolm's interception was unreal. It was so unexpected and so satisfying and so much fun to see. It will live on forever as a great moment in Boston Sports History.